Bosnia

Bosnia-Herzegovina, located on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe, shares its borders with Croatia, Serbia, and Montenegro. The country is almost completely landlocked, except for 12 miles along the Adriatic Sea.

  • Population: 3,760,000
  • Life Expectancy: 76 years
  • Access to Safe Water: 99%
  • School Enrollment: 87%
  • Land Mass: 19,767 sq. mi.
  • Literacy Rate: 98%
  • Under Age 5 Mortality Rate: 8/1000
  • Average Annual Income (GNI): 4,790

Facts about Bosnia

Economic Development

About 27 percent of Bosnians are unemployed and about 25 percent live below the poverty line.

Economic Development

Income distribution among Bosnians is very uneven; as of 2010, the country has the 11th highest income inequality in the world.

Disaster Response

Over 130,000 people are still displaced from their homes because of the civil war during the 1990s.

Bosnia-Herzegovina flag

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World Vision in Bosnia-Herzegovina Today

World Vision is committed to partnering with the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina to improve their lives today and to help enact sustainable solutions for the future of their children, families, and communities. Highlights of World Vision programs include:

  • Developing faith-based activities to offer families spiritual nurture.
  • Providing Orthodox churches with Bible-based teaching and study materials.

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World Vision History in Bosnia-Herzegovina

While World Vision assisted the church in what was then Yugoslavia dating back to 1976, our work in Bosnia began in fiscal year 1994 with assistance to a women’s health center. Since then, some major accomplishments include:

  • Providing coal, firewood, jackets, boots, sweaters, and socks to displaced and war-affected people in the late 1990s.
  • Creating new jobs and improving economic stability for war-affected communities through a microcredit program in the late 1990s.
  • Offering agricultural training to farming communities since 2001.
  • Strengthening relationships between children, teachers, and parents through community improvement projects and disaster preparedness workshops at the beginning of the 21st century.

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Geography & People

Geography and people

Bosnia-Herzegovina, located on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe, shares its borders with Croatia, Serbia, and Montenegro. The country is almost completely landlocked, except for 12 miles along the Adriatic Sea. The Bosniak/Croat Federation takes up about half of the country, while the Republika Srpska occupies the remaining territory.

The Dinaric Alps cover most of the central and southern landscape, while plains cover the north. The climate has hot summers and cold winters.

Natural resources include coal, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, nickel, clay, salt, sand, forests, and hydropower.

Three main ethnic groups make up the population: the Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims), the Serbs, and the Croats. The Bosniaks are the largest group, making up almost half of the population. Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian are the country’s three official languages.

History

After centuries of Ottoman rule, Bosnia fell under the control of Austria-Hungary in 1908. Political tensions between Austria-Hungary and Serbia in the early 20th century ended in the assassination of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne in 1914 by a Serb from Bosnia. The killing led to the outbreak of World War I a month later.

Following World War II in 1945, Bosnia-Herzegovina became a republic of the newly established communist Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia, however, began losing stability during the 1980s.

Bosnia-Herzegovina declared independence in 1991 and the United Nations recognized the country’s sovereignty in 1992. Conflict between Bosnian Muslims, Croats, and Serbs lasted until around 1995; tens of thousands of people died and even more were displaced during the violence.

In 2000, the Bosnian-Herzegovina government recognized Bosniaks, Croats, and Serbs as official groups within the country.

The country has held democratic elections since 1991.

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Prayer Requests for Bosnia-Herzegovina

  • Please pray for the people of Bosnia and for peace and stability in their country.